Square dancing in Brookfield

BROOKFIELD – This fall, free introductory fun nights will be held locally and throughout the world for those wanting to learn to square dance.

Amy Krepps of Cloverleaf Squares, said in August more than 100 people from area square dancing groups and clubs came together for the annual combined dance held at Brookfield Fire Department hall.

Krepps said the annual dance is called the “4×4” with four callers for four hours.

“We try to get as many dancers as available to attend for square dancing and some line dances,” she said.

Krepps said the lessons are in western style square dancing and designed for beginners and seasoned pros alike.

“The hardest part is getting people here to try it. For some people, square dancing is in their blood,” she said.

Denny Steiner of Cowansville, Pa., a caller, said he travels three or four nights per week calling out the dance moves and putting them together in a series that hopefully will flow well.

Tom Strickland of Kipton said he started calling when he was 13 and said music for him came naturally.

“My parents started square dancing and the three of us kids went along with them, and my brother and sister and I decided instead of sitting on the sidelines that we would learn to dance. I was dragged by my sister to dance and then a year and a half later I started calling,” he said.

Tom Rudeback of Leetonia said he has been calling for 52 years

“I enjoy the people I get to see. I started calling when I was in 4-H. I enjoy sharing the duties and camaraderie,” he said.

Connie Matvey of Mercer, Pa. said she enjoys the friendship, the calls and dancers. In addition to the Cloverleaf Squares, she also dances with the Shenango Sashayers in Sharon, Pa., and with clubs in Warren and New Castle, Pa.

Judy Black of Hubbard said the friendships are what make the dances great.

“My friend Karen of Warren brought me here in 1988. It has become very mixed with all different dance clubs,” Black said.

Krepps said free introductory dance instruction will be held from September to April. Anyone who can walk at a moderate pace can square dance, she said.

“The most important body part when it comes to square dancing are the ears. It’s all about following the caller’s instructions. Even those who can’t tell their right from their left can get the hand of it,” Krepps said.

She said the different kinds of music is what most people are surprised about.

”Most people associate with the square dancing they learned in school. You may still hear some of the older songs on occasion but you will dance to everything from the 1950s to today’s modern forms of music,” she said.

Lessons will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. starting Sept. 16 at the Brookfield Fire Department hall.